Last Updated: January 26, 2022

Best Museums In Texas 

If you find yourself at a loss for something to do in Texas, especially on a hot summer or cold wintery day, then you should look to the amazing museums in Texas.

Texas has so many and such a diverse range of museums that no matter who you’re with, whether it’s grandparents or kids, you’ll find a museum that will keep everyone entertained. From history and art to science and nature plus a whole host of interactive exhibits, you can’t go wrong while visiting the best museums in Texas.

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

In downtown Dallas is where you’ll find one of the best museums in Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art. The Dallas Museum of art is home to over 24,000 pieces of beautiful artwork that span millennia and run from 3000 BC all the way through to the present day.

You’ll find the impressive collection features contemporary art, European art, American art and pieces from famous international artists in the permanent exhibits including the likes of Van Gogh, Pollock, and Warhol.

Art lovers will love this art museum and kids will too as aside from the famous artists on show, there are interactive activities such as watching art being restored or attending lectures from poets, authors and many more influential artists.

While being one of the largest art museums in the USA with one of the largest collections, their special exhibits and temporary exhibits are also very dynamic and constantly changing. Plus, they allow you to look at art from different viewpoints such as color or climate.

Don’t forget that this museum is one of the best free things to do in Dallas. Aside from special exhibitions, you can visit the rest of the museum at no cost!

Nasher Sculpture Center

The Nasher Sculpture Center is one of the museums in Texas that is often missed from guide books but it’s one of the museums in Dallas that you shouldn’t miss. You’ll find stunning sculptures from famous artists such as Matisse, Picasso, and Calder.

The museum was founded back in 2003 and to date holds one of the finest collections of contemporary and modern art sculptures in the world. With over 300 different sculptures in their permanent exhibits beautifully laid out both inside the museum and outside in their lovely garden, time seems to stand still as you explore.

This museum is only open from Thursday to Sunday every week excluding public holidays and admission costs just $10 and to avoid the queues, it’s best to buy your ticket online.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

If you love nature and science and/or you’re traveling with kids then one of the museums in Texas you have to go to is the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Between the permanent exhibits of Houston Museum of Natural Science that include interesting things such as a Hall of Paleontology which features 60 large skeleton mounts, four of which are gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons to the Hall of Texas Wildlife and the Hall of Ancient Egypt, there isn’t much this museum doesn’t cover in Natural history.

Other permanent exhibits which are both interactive and educational exhibits included topics such as astronomy, native Americans and you can also visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium, and Wortham Giant Screen Theater while you’re there.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is by far one of the most interesting museums in the United States and thus is one of the most attended in the US too so be sure to book online to avoid the queues.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Another of the museums in Texas that you shouldn’t miss while you’re visiting is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science which you’ll find in Dallas.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science was officially opened in 2012 and it’s absolutely huge with over 180,000 feet of museum space spread over five different floors. You’ll find a permanent collection on each floor with eleven in total which includes everything from 3D computer animation and life-size dinosaurs to how to program and build a small robotic vehicle.

This is also one of the best museums to visit if you have kids as the museum offers an on-site children’s museum, and as far as children’s museums go, it’s a great one. Plus there is a playground with an outdoor play space to keep all ages entertained.

Among the museum’s collection are also fun interactive kiosks and educational games that draw everyone in and stimulate curiosity. It is by far one of the most interesting science museums you’re likely to find in Texas and perhaps the USA.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Sitting just outside of Dallas in Fort Worth is one of the best museums to visit while you’re in Texas and an important museum at that. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, also known as The Modern, is the oldest art museum in Texas and showcases a complete picture of life in the present day with its collection of 3,000 pieces that are post World War II.

The museum is perfectly designed with glass walls that allow just the right amount of light into the galleries to bring the many pieces on show to life. You’ll find art from all over the world including American art and it has works from artists such as Andy Warhol and European masterpieces from Pablo Picasso.

As well as the lovely modern art piece, you’ll also find more unconventional style pieces in this museum that revolves around different ways of seeing the human condition. Everything from contemporary photography to figurative sculptures takes you on a journey you might not have expected.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Another of the best museums in the Lone Star State that all museum lovers and history buffs should visit is the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

This museum showcases a piece of American history through a very close look at the life of George W. Bush life in the white house. History enthusiasts will be able to scour through more than 70 million pages of historical text and 3.8 million photos as they wander through the exhibits.

The exhibits are ordered in an interesting way too by how they influenced policy, principles, and values. This gives visitors a holistic insight into the life of the president during his term. Museum-goers will find insights into the World Trade Center, personal stories, looks at life on the oval office, and lots more.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

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The Sixth Floor Museum when compared to other museums can be considered one of the more important museums you should make time for while in Dallas.

The Sixth Floor Museum, also known as the JFK Museum focuses entirely on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Roy Harvey Oswalt on November 22nd, 1963, and how it affected the world.

The museum is actually located on the assassination site and you can walk around the grassy knoll and re-imagine the tragedy for yourself. You’ll also find interactive exhibits as well as educational ones which allow visitors to really connect to what happened.

Visitors can then learn about the event that changed the course of history and read personal stories related to the exhibits in the Shared Memories Exhibit.

You can wander around this museum at your own pace and really connect with this moment in history that changed the world forever.

Kimbell Art Museum

The Kimbell Art Museum is another of the must-see museums in Texas and it’s quite famous as being a great small museum, and one of the best in the USA with incredible art collections and stunning architecture.

Sitting outside Dallas in Fort Worth, the Kimbell Museum is housed in a building that uses a combination of technology and natural light that brings all its pieces to life. Designed by architect Louis Kahn, the building’s design is highly regarded as quite an achievement in modern architectural circles.

The pieces inside, however, are even more impressive and span the globe. You’ll find Africa, Asian, Egyptian and Mesoamerican art as well as masterpieces by the likes of Matisse, Monet, Picasso, and Michelangelo.

As well as the famed permanent pieces, the museum also hosts wonderful traveling exhibits every year.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, South Texas is home to over 70,000 unique pieces of art and is one of the top fine art museums in the country. It’s also one of the largest art museums in the country and has been cultivating its collection since 1900.

The museum takes up 300,000 square feet which allow visitors to discover the immensely diverse range of exhibits at a slow meandering pace. You’ll find everything from the Glassell Collection of African Gold and African pieces to Native American art, paintings, and sculptures from Europe, and Impressionism/Post-Impressionism collection, and lots more.

If you enjoy seeing drawings, artifacts, prints, textiles, and photographs then you’ll love this museum as they are heavily featured too.

While this museum is hard to see all at once, you can take a break from viewing the many exhibitions by walking around the beautiful public gardens and having some lunch at the lovely in-house cafe.

Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

One of the museums you have to visit while in Houston is the Space Center Houston, which is the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center.

At ​​Space Center Houston you can join in the fun programs and hands-on activities that allow you to feel like an actual astronaut and experience life in space. You can also watch actually astronauts training for their next flight, have a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA, and even touch a rock from the moon.

You’ll also be able to see a bit of history as NASA 905, the original shuttle is on display, see an old collection of spacesuits that were worn on the moon, and even go inside a Skylab Trainer.

If you and/or your kids want to have a real-life experience of space, but on earth, then this is the museum to go to.

Meadows Museum of Art

One of the lesser-known museums in Dalles, the Meadows Museum is quite small but still holds some amazing and historical pieces that you won’t find anywhere else.

This museum is particularly known for its Spanish art and is the only place not in Spain where you can see so many pieces from Spain in one place. You’ll find collections from people such as Dalo, Goya, Picasso, and lots more.

If you’re looking for a museum to take your time in and be away from the crowds, this is one to head to. It’s open Tuesday to Saturday from 10-5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

If you’re staying in the other texas cities in the south and want to learn about Texas’ history, then a visit to the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin is a must.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is one of the only history museums that offer an insight into the past of this awesome state. You’ll find old artifacts such as the spacesuit that was worn by Edgar Mitchell, the original Goddess of Liberty statue, as well as an IMAX Theater plus a 4D Texas Spirit Theater that showcase amazing short films about the history of the state.

You’ll also find interactive exhibits at this museum that allow you to step into the history of the culture via video games and even hanging out a recreated speakeasy from the Prohibition Era.

Children’s Museum of Houston

Children's Museum of Houston

Image courtesy of Wally Gobetz

The Children’s Museum of Houston has been ranked as one of the Best Children’s Museums in the USA numerous times and it’s a great place to take your kids as it’s highly entertaining and informative.

The museum is built around innovative learning through fun exhibits and it inspires kids to think in new ways, and overall it’s very good at doing so. The exhibits cover everything from nature, history, and science to new technology, culture, economics, and more.

Kids can spend their time exploring the 90,000 square feet of attractions and have a boatload of fun learning at the Kidtropolis metropolis, climbing a three-story exhibition at PowerPlay, and enjoying the best bit, CYBERCHASE.

CYBERCHASE showcases the battle of good vs evil where kids get to be the hero while viewing it on a state-of-the-art display. There are also loads of cool gadgets that allow kids to explore innovation at the Invention Convention exhibit.

Amon Carter Museum of Western Art

Another must-visit is the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth as it features thousands of pieces that date back from the 18th century all the way through to the present day. The museum showcases an evolution of American artwork over the years and focuses on the changes in complexity, creativity, and diversity.

You’ll find pieces including photographs, sculptures, and paintings from famous people such as Thomas Cols, Ansel Adams, and Georgia O’Keefe as well as Frederic Church, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, John Singer Sargent, and Winslow Homer. It’s quite a collection.

The museum is also fun for kids as it has ARTivity totes that make the tour around the exhibits far more interactive. There is also a family space where kids can play and take a break or get involved in more hands-on things.

McDonald Observatory

In Austin in the University Park of the University of Texas is where you’ll find the McDonald Observatory. The ​​McDonald Observatory is dedicated to both astronomy and science is and is a great place to go if you’re interested in outer space and kids love it too.

Being one of the most famous educational and research centers in the world dedicated to astronomy, it couldn’t be a better place to learn and be inspired.

While on a visit there you get a tour around the museum and you get to use the center’s own professional telescopes to search space for stars, planets, and lots more.

Since it’s a professional research station, there are only two guided tours a day, one at 2 pm and 3 pm, so be sure to book in advance.

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

The LBJ Presidential Library and Museum in Austin is another showcase of an American President, only this time is about the one and only Lyndon Baines Johnson.

At the Presidential Library and museum, you can learn all about the evolution of the Lyndon Baines Johnson mandate, its legacy, and the impact it has had on the presidency of the United States.

The museum has 6 permanent exhibitions including Civil Rights, November 22, 1963, The Legacy Gallery, Social Justice Gallery, The Oval Office, and LBJ’s Presidential Limousine.

Within each one are a huge amount of objects, books, articles, and photographs that bring each exhibit to life. As you stroll through the Great Hall with over 45 million documents pages from the time of the Johnson Administration you learn an awful amount about the history of the USA and how Lyndon Baines Johnson did so much for the country.

National Museum of the Pacific War

National Museum of the Pacific War

Image courtesy of Tricia J

The National Museum of the Pacific War sits in Fredericksburg and is one of the most interesting museums in Texas to visit if you love history. As you might have guessed, the National Museum of the Pacific War is all about the Pacific war and it focuses on commemorating those who served.

You’ll find a diverse range of exhibits that are split over numerous buildings and include the ​Plaza of the Presidents, Admiral Nimitz Museum, and the stunning Japanese Garden of Peace.

You’ll also find interactive as well as educational exhibits that all provide a great view into how the battles in the pacific of WWII went down and why.

Panhandle Plains Historical Museum

The largest history museum in Texas is the Panhandle Plains Museum outside Amarillo in northern Texas. If you love American History then this is a museum you simply have to visit.

The museum was founded back in 1921 and it focuses on the evolution of Texas looking at everything from cultural, social, and geological perspectives all the way to how Native Americans influenced the state. It also showcases works, artifacts, and objects.

The museum is located in a small town call Canyon and is open every day from 9 am-6 pm but has shorter hours on Sundays, opening from 1 pm-5 pm.

Mexic Arte Museum

Being so close to Mexico, Texas has been influenced by Latin cultures for hundreds of years and you can catch a glimpse of them at the Mexic Arte Museum.

You’ll be able to learn all about the deep history of Latin artworks and how it has influenced the USA over time and the experience is quite fascinating. There are large collections of latine pieces at the museum that include sculptures, paintings, drawings, photos, and lots more.

They stretch from Mexico all the way to other Latin American countries that all add something to the Latin influence of the USA.

The museum also plays host to traveling exhibitions, some of which are interactive and even let visitors create their own pieces too.

Museum of Illusions

The final museum in Texas you have to visit while you’re there is the Museum of Illusions and it offers a different experience than the likes of the others.

At the Museum Of Illusions in Dallas, you’re not going to find lovely pieces to stare at or ancient artifacts, you’re going to have an experience of many different illusions. There are over 80 different optical illusions at this museum that will have you thinking your eyes are playing tricks on you.

The museum features holograms, interactive rooms where your size and gravity seem to change, there are a load of fun games with puzzles to solve, and some places that a great for taking trick photos to fool your friends with after.

While this museum is a ton of fun for kids, it’s also great for adults too and it shows off a world one doesn’t usually get to learn about, the secrets of illusions.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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